Physical characteristics

The body is deep, compressed, and oblong to disk-shaped. The upper jaw is more or less protrusible, and there are minute, slender, conical teeth in the jaws and vomer. Adults range in size from the dwarf dory (Zenion hololepis) at 4 in (10 cm) to the 3-ft (90 cm), 12-lb (5.3 kg) South African Cape dory (Zeus capensis). Most species are silvery, bronzy, brown, or reddish. The John Dory is silvery or bronzy, with indistinct longitudinal dark stripes from head to tail and a conspicuous white or yellow-edged black ocellus in the middle of the body. The juvenile buckler dory (Zenopsis conchifer) is silvery and covered with scattered, vaguely defined black spots. Dories can change from silvery to dark brown or gray in seconds. Males and females are colored similarly.

Zeiform fishes can be recognized by the following combination of characters: five to ten dorsal fin spines; zero to four anal fin spines; pelvic fins with one spine and five to seven soft rays or no spine and six to 10 soft rays; a caudal fin with 11, 13, or 15 principal (segmented) rays, of which 9, 11, or 13 rays are branched; and unbranched dorsal, anal, and pectoral fin rays. The orbitosphenoid bone is absent, and there is no subocular shelf or supramaxilla. There are seven or eight branchiostegal rays, 3.5 gills (no slit behind the last hemi-branch), 25-46 vertebrae, and a gas bladder.

Betta Fish

Betta Fish

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